Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Move your TOES - messages from the first Thriving Organizational Ecology Symposium

Jeff Vander Clute, the Happiness Initiative Board President called together a suite of people and organization to share, learn, evolve and work together.  We are here now, at the Whidbey Island Institute.   Here the deer meander through the fields, the salmon berries are up, and find out how we can work together. 

Compassionate Action Network  (CAN) International: 
Rita Hubbard, the executive director, explains how CAN is partnering with cities across the world for compassion.   They have a charter for cities, and are working with the faith community, educators and companies.  CAN was inspired by Karen Armstrong's wish for a charter for compassion made during a Ted Talk.  Eight cities have already signed CAN's charter and they are in discussion with several dozen.  Why compassion? CAN is looking to help leaders, scholars and grassroots activists create a future where people do not fall through the holes; where we treat each other with trust, joy and love.  You can affirm the charter now!

Compassionate Seattle
Heart Map of Seattle by Jon Ramer
Jon Ramer, the executive director, explains the difference between Compassionate Seattle and CAN International (beyond the obvious of geographic scope).  Compassionate Seattle was born from CAN = which was born from an event called SEED inspired by Karen Armstrong -when it became clear the international focus was pulling away from a local focus.   Jon and his team are starting with a heart map and events such as a challenge from Louisville for Compassionate Games: They hosted an event called "Give a day" with a goal of 50,000 people volunteering on one day, and they want to see us beat that.  On  Sept 21 is day of peace and United Way's day of caring- when Compassionate Seattle is inviting all of us to participate and co-create this! You can join Compassionate Seattle here.

Cascadia Center Camp Brotherhood 
John Hale, executive director, is taled with "fostering harmony within the human family in an environment with all affirmation."  Began in 1960 with a program called Challenge: KOMO TV, a Rabbi and a Minister talked about religion and politics every Sunday to challenge each other and the audience. They then created a retreat for people of different faiths to get to know each other. Their program four tracts are 1) Interfaith, 2) Sustainability, 3) Education and 4) Arts.  You can hold a retreat here too.

New Stories
Lynnaea Lumbard is the president of New Stories, which promotes, incubates and amplifies the "new stories" of transition that take us through this time. They offer fiscal sponsorships.
Great Transition Stories is a project dealing with cultural issues telling stories that liberate, unify and inspire us.  Each story is rigorously researched, and "translated" with word and video. Check this tool out for exploring who and what we are as people and as a country. The Whidbey Geodome project creates a place to expand the mind and heart.  Last night they invited STEM educators to dialogue about how science, technology, engineering and mathematics interlink with the arts and humanities.  A geodome is a large igloo looking structure that inflates. The experience starts with a show about the universe.  Thriving Communities aims to be a massive co-creative effort. In Napa Valley, a thriving community is in full swing.

The Happiness Initiative went last. Lunch smells wafted into the room.  What is happiness?  At a meta-level, it is no different than compassion, sustainability, thriving or love. It is regard and respect for all of what we are: how we feel, whether our life is worthwhile and what is happening individually and culturally within the 10 domains.  It is also a way to work together, where we can use a measurement and data to tell us all how we are doing in our efforts towards compassion, sustainability, thriving communities and love.

Posted by Laura, ED of HI. 

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